9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ak-nol-ij] /ækˈnɒl ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), acknowledged, acknowledging.
to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of:
to acknowledge one's mistakes.
to show or express recognition or realization of:
to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.
to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of:
The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.
to show or express appreciation or gratitude for:
to acknowledge a favor.
to indicate or make known the receipt of:
to acknowledge a letter.
to take notice of or reply to:
to acknowledge a greeting.
Law. to confirm as binding or of legal force:
to acknowledge a deed.
Origin of acknowledge
1475-85; acknowleche, apparently either Middle English aknou(en) to recognize (Old English oncnāwan; see a-1, know1) + -leche noun suffix (Old English *-lǣce, by-form of -lac; cf. knowledge, wedlock); or blend of aknouen and knouleche knowledge; then a- was mistaken for ac-
Related forms
acknowledgeable, adjective
acknowledger, noun
preacknowledge, verb (used with object), preacknowledged, preacknowledging.
reacknowledge, verb (used with object), reacknowledged, reacknowledging.
unacknowledging, adjective
1. concede, confess, grant. Acknowledge, admit, confess agree in the idea of declaring something to be true. Acknowledge implies making a statement reluctantly, often about something previously denied: to acknowledge a fault. Admit especially implies acknowledging something under pressure: to admit a charge. Confess usually means stating somewhat formally an admission of wrongdoing, crime, or shortcoming: to confess guilt; to confess an inability to understand.
1. deny, disclaim, disavow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acknowledge
  • But they need to be prepared to acknowledge receipt of those materials in a timely and professional manner.
  • Yet many people in the news media apparently can't bring themselves to acknowledge this simple reality.
  • Many schools acknowledge holidays in a social studies context.
  • Even die-hard optimists now acknowledge that the ad market is a mess.
  • It is the poisonous elephant in the room that no one will acknowledge.
  • Stadium managers acknowledge that most players prefer grass--if it is in pristine condition.
  • The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem.
  • Local officials acknowledge the blunder, but they have told reporters that they simply have no money for replacement signs.
  • We regret that we are unable to acknowledge letters.
  • Officials say no decision has been made, but acknowledge wide-ranging talks .
British Dictionary definitions for acknowledge


verb (transitive)
(may take a clause as object) to recognize or admit the existence, truth, or reality of
to indicate recognition or awareness of, as by a greeting, glance, etc
to express appreciation or thanks for: to acknowledge a gift
to make the receipt of known to the sender: to acknowledge a letter
to recognize, esp in legal form, the authority, rights, or claims of
Derived Forms
acknowledgeable, adjective
acknowledger, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from earlier knowledge, on the model of Old English oncnāwan, Middle English aknowen to confess, recognize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acknowledge

1550s, a blend of Middle English aknow (from Old English oncnawan "understand," from on + cnawan "recognize;" see know) and Middle English knowlechen "admit, acknowledge" (c.1200; see knowledge). In the merger, a parasitic -c- slipped in, so that while the kn- became a simple "n" sound (as in know), the -c- stepped up to preserve, in this word, the ancient "kn-" sound. Related: Acknowledged; acknowledging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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